James Bobin to Direct Zach Galifianakis in 'Confederacy of Dunces'?
Hot on the heels of his nostalgic return of The Muppets, director James Bobin is already working on a sequel. However, it sounds like he might be putting his talents to use getting a long gestating adaptation off the ground after decades of various attempts. Vulture has word that Bobin is currently negotiating to direct an adaptation of John Kennedy Toole's Pulitzer Prize winning novel A Confederacy of Dunces. A script is coming from Cedar Rapids writer Phil Johnston and apparently Zach Galifianakis, who has been a favorite to star in the project amongst those who have read the book, is apparently attached to the project.
That's a lot of information to take in after 30 years of attempts to make the movie. First, let's recap what this story is all about for those who might be unfamiliar. Set in New Orleans in the early 1960s, the book follows the sheltered, perpetually indignant thirty-something man-child Ignatius Reilly who lives at home with his mother. In his quest for work, a concept he's only ever read about, Ignatius comes across an assortment of eccentric characters in the French Quarter. Toole's book is considered a comic masterpiece, but sadly the author died before it could be published and he won the Pulitzer posthumously.
Therefore it's no surprise that over the years an adaptation has garnered the attention of names like Harold Ramis back in 1982 with John Belushi taking the lead role. However, the latter actor ended up dying from a drug overdose just a few days before he would have met with Universal Pictures to talk about the project. Later names like John Candy and Chris Farley (who also met their demise all too soon) were circling the project, but those never came to fruition. Will Ferrell had the most recent attempt with Steve Soderbergh attached to direct, but there were too many cooks in the kitchen and that also fell apart.
Now fans of the novel have new hopes as Galifianakis really seems like the prime candidate to bring about the comedy and drama from the story. There's also plenty of room for other comedic talent to fill in the eccentric cast of characters from the French Quarter, so maybe there's some hope for Ferrell (starring with Galifianakis in The Campaign) to get in on this project after all. Paramount is behind the project now, and if they take care of this film like they have adaptations like say Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, then we should be in for a real treat. Stay tuned as this project develops.